Public Release: 

Thesleff to receive Isaac Schour Memorial Award

International & American Associations for Dental Research

Alexandria, Va. - Dr. Irma Thesleff, Professor and Research Director of the Developmental Biology Program in the Institute of Biotechnology of the University of Helsinki, Finland, will be presented with the 2008 Isaac Schour Memorial Award by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) at the 86th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR in Toronto, ON, Canada on July 2, 2008.

Dr. Thesleff completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Helsinki Dental School in Finland and became a Doctor of Odontology at the same University. She is being honored for her early research work on the associations between oral clefts and drugs taken during pregnancy, which was published under her maiden surname Saxén.

Dr. Thesleff is being recognized for her studies on the development of tooth germs and teeth. She has published more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed publications and made major contributions to the public understanding of science in her chosen domain. She was appointed Docent (Lecturer) in Developmental Biology at the University of Helsinki in 1980 and given Specialist's rights in Orthodontics in 1983. She has received many research awards, honors, and honorary degrees, and has given more than 150 invited lectures at international conferences and universities. Dr. Thesleff was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pedodontics and Orthodontics at the University of Helsinki from 1990-2004 and an Academy Professor in the Finnish Academy from 1998 to 2003.

Funded through a generous endowment provided by Dr. Bernard G. Sarnat, a former graduate student of Schour, and Rhoda G. Sarnat through the Sarnat Family Foundation, the Isaac Schour Memorial Award consists of a cash prize and plaque and recognizes outstanding scientific contributions in the anatomical sciences, including tissue engineering, tissue regeneration, and stem cell research as it relates to the oral, dental, or craniofacial complex. It is one of the 16 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards and is one of the highest honors bestowed by the IADR.


About the International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a non-profit organization with more than 10,500 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge to improve oral health, (2) supporting the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings for the improvement of oral health worldwide.

To learn more about the IADR, visit

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